‘Big Four’ supermarket fuel prices questioned as independents cut costs

Supermarkets were once the cheapest place to get fuel, but those days appear to be coming to an end.

Prices at Morrisons, Willenhall on Monday
Prices at Morrisons, Willenhall on Monday

As prices at the pump continue to rocket, a disparity between big-hitting supermarket chains and independent stations has emerged.

Prices in Wolverhampton reflect this, with Sainsbury's in Wednesfield currently charging 190.9p per litre for unleaded, and 199.9p for diesel.

This can also be seen at other supermarket forecourts, with Tesco in Wolverhampton also sitting at 190.9p per litre for unleaded, while Morrisons in Bilston is charging 189.7p.

Compare this with independent prices in the area, and it paints a different story.

The cheapest fuel station in Wolverhampton, Blakenhall Service Station (Total Energies) is currently selling unleaded for just 179.6p, more than 10p per litre cheaper than supermarket competitors.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: "Major retailers really need to cut their prices now, and going forwards they need to reduce them as soon as wholesale prices drop to give drivers confidence they’re not being taken for a ride every time they fill up.

"The ‘Big Four’ supermarkets, which dominate fuel sales, are standing firm with a litre of petrol at their stores costing an average of 190.19p.

"We would love to hear their reasoning for keeping their prices so high in this instance, but we’ve never known them publicly defend themselves.

"Far too often it’s the smallest retailers, who sell far less fuel combined despite having more forecourts, that stand up for the industry."

And those smaller independent retailers are seeing an increase in business because of it.

Sanjeev Lal, operations manager, said Blakenhall Service Station had been extremely busy recently, with pumps constantly in use.

"Normally our customers are local, but people are coming from all over now, we are getting a great response.

"We want to continue this as long as we can and we want the community to know they have somewhere to go to."

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